Ben and I have made some pretty awesome changes to our everyday life to help make our weekends longer and more enjoyable. We were having a hard time staying on top of the cleaning since we've been working long hours and working out. I've had four exhibition openings this month, one of which was a HUGE project for me, so I've been working nights and weekends sometimes. We find it really hard to stay on top of cleaning (especially dishes!) but laundry too because it's raining almost every day (winter!) and our clothes never get a chance to dry. So:
1)We bought a dryer (and it was well worth it!)
2) We started a cleaning jar. We add money to the jar based on whatever cleaning thing we did--and it's actually working! We can spend the money on whatever, whenever, but it has to be something we both want. Big nasty jobs like cleaning windows are $5 and dishes and 'tidying' are $2. Now we don't spend one whole day on the weekend trying to catch up with the cleaning. It's nice :)
Yesterday Ben had a day full of surprises planned. He took us down to Margaret River where we walked through the shops and got coffee/chai at the Yahava Factory! One of our favorite places. We went down to Hamelin Bay in hopes of seeing the big stingrays, but we came to the conclusion that the water must be too choppy, and it wasn't the right season. We still got some really gorgeous pictures! Then we went to El Gringo's for dinner. It's a Mexican restaurant in Busselton (a town that is about a half hour from Bunbury). It was good! The service was amazing, especially for Australia! The margaritas were kind of weak, but they usually are, we've found. We both got chimichangas that were good, but WEIRD. They were full of a creamy sauce (sour cream?) We'd probably try something else but the food was good and it was fun to go out to a restaurant :)
LCAA has just put in for three or four jobs all in the Margaret River area (about an hour away from us in Bunbury). Hopefully they get at least one! Ben's company just won a bunch of awards at an Australian Institute of Project Managers conference, and at an Engineers Australia awards night. Nancy won Project Manager of the Year (seriously, big deal!), Small Project of the Year (for the Bunbury Airport, which Ben was involved with!!), and Regional Project of the Year (Nannup project, Ben wasn't involved with that one, it was before he got here). So they are doing really well for themselves. They were in the paper too, so if you want the article let me know and I can email it to you :)
I had my first big opening last weekend. It went so well! I'm having a lot of fun with all aspects of this job. I've just firmed up Term 4 of our Studio Two art classes, which was fun because I was able to find artists to teach classes, and kind of go my own way with it. I'm going to a training in November for Marketing in New and Social Media. Iluka Visions, the SouthWest High Schools exhibition was last weekend, and we had over two hundred people at the opening event. The exhibition takes up two of the four galleries. It's kind of a big deal :) I've got a media contact that I regularly liase with, so there are multiple stories, articles, and photos in the paper weekly that I've either written or organized. It's so much fun!
Random picture time.
This is the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, where I work. It used to be a convent in the 1800s, and is haunted by Sister Mary (but I have yet to see her)
Gorgeous flowers Ben bought me. I love him :)
THIS is IKEA! The big warehouse home store we went to in Perth a few weeks ago!
These are pictures from Hamelin Bay:
These were everywhere on the beach. Some kind of blue jellyfish?
Beautiful sunset over the ocean :)
The coastline is so weird here. That's actually a pretty big mountainous dune on the left that you can climb.
I was trying to show how bright blue the water is, but this picture doesn't do it justice. Think...Caribbean blue!
Ben is currently brewing his next batch of beer. This is his fourth batch, and they just keep getting better. I have high expectations for this one!
This is the malt concentrate he is using for this batch. It's from New Zealand: Black Rock East India Pale Ale (we both really like IPAs)
Ben is trying a new method that he read in one of his brewing books. He is boiling the wort first, before adding the rest of the water and putting it into the fermenter
Furiously writing notes, such a little scientist
That's all for now! But I think that's plenty of pictures, don't you?
We miss you all at home! 2.5 weeks until we have loads and loads of Tasmania pictures. Every day down is another day closer to being home for good.. :)